DEFENCE DEVELOPMENT – INDIGENISATION AND MODERNISATION OF INDIAN DEFENCE
- Industrial Acts and Legislations 0
- CHALLENGES BEFORE THE NATION 0
- Scholarship Schemes to Minority Students 0
1-FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
For speedy indigenization, the Government increased the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit from 26% to 49% through approval route. Above 49%, the proposal will go to Cabinet Committee on Security on case to case basis. The Government also lifted an earlier three year lock-in period for foreign investment in Defence sector.
Defence products list for the purpose of industrial licensing has been revised. In the revised list most of the components/parts/raw materials, castings, forgings, production machinery, testing equipment etc. have been taken out of purview of industrial licensing. Besides, dual use items other than those specifically mentioned in the list would not require industrial license from defence angle. This will reduce the license requirement for many items, which were earlier required industrial license for manufacturing.
What is more, in a landmark decision on 25 October 2014, the DAC cleared projects worth over Rs 80,000 crores. It was decided to build six submarines in India at a cost of about Rs. 50,000 crore and to purchase over 8,000 Israeli antitank guided missiles and 12 upgraded Dornier surveillance aircraft. Of the Rs. 80,000 crores, more than Rs. 65,000 crores is Make in India or Buy & Make.
For speeding up modernisation programmes, the Government has made a special allocation of Rs. 5000 crores in the current Union Budget. And to encourage research and development of new Defence systems that enhance cutting-edge technology capability in the country, the Government has allocated Rs 100 Crores to set up a Technology Development Board.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) decided that the acquisition of 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from the US will continue. The DAC cleared the revised offset proposals submitted by US Aviation major, Boeing, in this regard.
The Government approved the Navy’s proposal to buy 16 multi-role helicopters, which fly from warships and detect enemy submarines. The Defence Acquisition Council also approved the purchase of Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare Suites (torpedo decoys and active towed array sonars) to be fitted on seven stealth frigates and four destroyers, which are to be built in India.
The Government also cleared a Rs. 900 crore dedicated mobile communications system for army troops deployed in Ladakh and the Eastern Command.
3-DEFENCE INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
The Government allocated Rs. 1000 crore in this year’s budget for accelerating the development of railway system in border areas. This will facilitate quick mobilisation of troops and weapon systems in border areas and also expedite the modernisation process.
The Government also plans to embark on a major road building exercise to counter security threats both along the China borders as well as in Maoist-affected areas within the country. In order to facilitate this, government relaxed the environment norms to a great extent. Also more financial and operational powers have been delegated to DG, BRO and his officers for faster implementation of the projects. The Border Roads Organisation is developing roads along the 4056 Kms China border from Arunachal Pradesh to Jammu & Kashmir, including widening of some existing roads.
The year saw capacity building in the existing and new strategic areas which includes beginning of sea-trials of indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant and the much awaited test flying of LCA (Navy) prototype-I. The LCA programme witnessed yet another milestone on 8th November 2014 when Tejas trainer PV6, the two-seater version of Tejas LCA for Air Force, in its first flight took to the skies and became the 16th Tejas variant to have flown as part of the programme. Having absorbed all the major design modifications undertaken during the flights of earlier aircraft, PV6 is the final prototype leading to series of production of trainer and has the capability to deliver all ‘air-to-air’ and ‘air-to-ground’ weapons deliverable by the single seat counterpart.
In another landmark event, LCA (Navy) Prototype 1 (NP1), the first indigenously designed and developed 4th plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate from the decks of aircraft carriers, took-off majestically from Ski-Jump facility of Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa on 20th December 2014. The SBTF created to replicate the aircraft carrier with a Ski Jump for take-off and arresting gear cable for arrested landing, became operational for R&D as well as pilot training.
The Indian Navy has been a leader in the Nation’s quest to promote self-reliance and indigenisation. INS Kolkata, an indigenous destroyer built at Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai, the biggest warship ever to be built in India to date, was commissioned which will usher new capability into the Indian Navy.
INS Kamorta, an ASW corvette built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata, was commissioned on 23 August, 2014.
In addition, Offshore Patrol Vessel INS Sumitra built by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), was commissioned on 04 September, 2014. Other major warship construction programmes include six destroyers of P15A and P15B class and six submarines of P75 class at Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai. Fifteen other ships are under construction at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata.
The third Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel INS Sumedha was commissioned at Goa on 06 March, 2014. INS Sumedha is 200th ship indigenously built by GSL. GSL is the only yard which has delivered four classes of OPVs to both Navy and Coast Guard. INS ‘Sumedha’ is the third of the new 105 meter class of NOPV and the largest ship constructed by GSL for the Indian Navy.
Induction of the nuclear submarine INS Chakra on lease from Russia has heralded an important chapter in the history of Indian Navy.
In addition, INS Vikramaditya, including its Mig 29K integral fighter aircraft has been inducted into the Navy. Maritime Surveillance Capability of the Navy has been bolstered with the recent induction of Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P81.
Indian Navy’s ability to communicate with deployed ships and submarines on an uninterrupted basis throughout the year got a shot in the arm when a new state of the art “Very Low Frequency (VLF) Transmitting Station” was inaugurated on 31 July, 2014 at INS Kattaboman, Tirunelvelli,Tamil Nadu. India is among a handful of nations in the world that has such a capability.
Two Advanced Early Warning and Combat (AEW&C) aircraft having fitted with the indigenous radars and other equipment such as data links, mission system controller, data handling and display system have been flying. A wheeled version of Nishant UAV named “Panchi” has been realized and had performed its maiden flight on 24th December 2014 after series of high speed taxi trials. An expandable 450 Kg thrust class Gas Turbine engine ‘Manik’ was developed for 1000 km class subsonic cruise missile and is undergoing endurance tests.
Successful test trials of surface-to-air Akash missile and induction of its Air Force version into IAF, successful launching of 5000 Km range Agni-5, long range cruise missileNirbhay, user trials of Prithvi-II, supersonic BrahMos and beyond visual range missile Astra were the hallmarks of this year’s achievement.
6-MODERNISATION OF IAF
Indian Air Force is now on a high trajectory of modernisation and in transforming with full spectrum capability. While induction of C -130J and C-17 has given the Force the long desire strategic and special operations capability, the induction of a fairly large MI-17V5 helicopter fleet has filled the gap in the medium heli-lift capability. The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) developed by HAL is also on the anvil. The IAF is likely to induct one squadron of limited series production version of this platform very soon.